CalSTRS Portfolio Manager Makes CIO Magazine’s “40 Under 40” List
Carrie Lo does big things, but keeps a low profile

News release Ricardo Duran

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s (CalSTRS) Carrie Lo has been named to Chief Investment Officer magazine’s influential “Forty Under Forty” list of up-and-coming investment professionals under the age of 40.

“We’re delighted because we know that Carrie’s work and acumen were instrumental to getting her on this list. She exemplifies service and honesty in her tremendous work for our Innovation & Risk unit, where she develops alternative strategies with the potential of improving portfolio diversification and risk-adjusted returns to the fund,” said CalSTRS Chief Investment Officer Christopher J. Ailman. “Carrie has been key to the development of our laboratory research team. They are finding ways to offer the portfolio meaningful protection when equities suffer downward market pressure.”

The “Forty Under Forty” listing is an annual recognition of excellence among young investment professionals employed by large asset owners. These are pension funds, foundations and endowments whose long-term success depends on astute young minds, such as Ms. Lo’s. This marks the third consecutive year that a young CalSTRS investment officer received the accolade.

Ms. Lo was the first hired in 2009 into what today is an eight-member Innovation & Risk unit – organized as a response to the lack of diversification observed in many portfolios during the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. The experience convinced CalSTRS investment leaders that new sources of returns, not correlated with equities, were needed to insulate the portfolio in future crashes.  

“A big part of why we hired Carrie was her impressive background and credentials,” said CalSTRS Director of Innovation & Risk Steven Tong. “However, one thing that impressed me early on was her humility and inquisitiveness. She is very accomplished with a well-balanced outlook. She also truly believes in the CalSTRS mission.”

“I had the pleasure of interviewing Carrie for a feature about CalSTRS’ Innovation & Risk unit in 2013 and immediately knew she was an investor to keep our eye on. Her deep technical knowledge, thoughtful manner, impressive investment background, and clear dedication to CalSTRS’ mission make her a standout talent and a real asset to the members she’s serving,” said CIO magazine’s Managing Editor Leanna Orr. “The ‘Forty Under Forty’ highlights the elite young asset owners delivering innovation, fresh perspectives and real value to this industry. Carrie excels on all counts, and we’re delighted to once again feature her on the pages of CIO.”

Ms. Lo holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from UC Berkeley and a Master of Finance from London Business School. She has a Chartered Financial Analyst designation and recently attained a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation. Ms. Lo came to CalSTRS with four years’ experience as a portfolio manager at Algert Coldiron Investors, LLC where she was responsible for Asian quantitative equity funds. Prior to that, Ms. Lo was a research analyst with Parnassus Investments.

“This was a wonderful surprise and honor, but credit also has to go to my colleagues and the Investment Committee for their willingness to venture into new types of investments,” Ms. Lo said.

An avid cyclist, Ms. Lo is on the board of the Sacramento Valley Velodrome Association, which seeks to bring a bicycle racing track to the region. She is conversant in both Cantonese and Mandarin.

Previous CalSTRS investment professionals on the “Forty Under Forty” list, include:

  • Josh Diedesch of the Innovation & Risk unit in 2014.
  • Aeisha Mastagni of Corporate Governance in 2013.

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a portfolio valued at $191.2 billion as of March 31, 2015, is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world. CalSTRS administers a hybrid retirement system, consisting of traditional defined benefit, cash balance and voluntary defined contribution plans. CalSTRS also provides disability and survivor benefits. CalSTRS serves California’s 879,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,700 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts. 

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